Jimi Hendrix would have been 70 years old today. I wrote a piece on him in these hallowed pages on the 40th anniversary of his death (you can read it here if you'd like to) and I don't have too much to add to that except to say that I've got 'Electric Ladyland' playing in the background at the moment and despite many people's attempts at emulate it over the last 40-odd years it still sounds like nothing before or since. Who knows what further greatness he would have gone on to produce? As it he left behind an amazing legacy of music that continues to influence people today - how many of us will do anything that even approaches that?
It's hard to imagine the music world without Jimi Hendrix, but we might never have heard him without Chris Stamp who together with Kit Lambert ran Track Records, the label that released much of Hendrix's music during his lifetime. Lambert and Stamp also managed a little group called The Who, so you won't be altogether surprised to hear that I was very saddened to hear of Chris Stamp's death this weekend - my music world certainly wouldn't be the same without him or the acts he was involved with.
Two gigs from The Upper Cut along with a day in the shop and a Flying Squad rehearsal made for a busy but very enjoyable weekend for your humble narrator :-
Friday night saw another Upper Cut show at The Crown and Treaty in Uxbridge, and bearly a month on from our last appearance there we made a much better job of it this time. Good! Maybe it was because I could hear better (I had an earwax problem last time) or maybe we just had a good gig - either way we had a great night. It was a late one though, and the start of the next day in Balcony Shirts was more than a little bleary from my point of view. Still, that's what they sell coffee for... no time to worry about that though, as we're off to The Burnham Beeches Hotel (they don't normally let people like me into places like that!) to play at Nick and Emma's wedding reception. They come to see the band on a regular basis, and it was great to be invited to play for them. Wedding shows can often be rather strange affairs; I've realised over my time playing them that it's a mistake to think of them as a gig as the band is a really a minor part of the event, often being all but ignored by the assembled multitude. No danger of that here though, as people were on the dance floor almost from the word go - there was even a complaint when we went off for a break to allow Nick and Emma to cut their wedding cake! Terry the bass's night was made when he met Simon Nicol from Fairport Convention (he's a family friend of Emma's) in the interval, and our second set went even better than the first. We could even have played an encore (again often something of a rarity at a wedding) but instead handed our instruments over to Nick's old band The Frantix who played 'Town Called Malice' and 'Mirror In The Bathroom' before DJ's Simon and Darren took over for the rest of the evening's festivities. Great stuff all round.
On Sunday The Flying Squad returned to Ruff Rockers Rehearsal Studio (which for reasons best known to themselves has changed it's name to RnR Studios) for an all day session in preparation for next month's gig at Tropic At Ruislip with Dr. Feelgood. We worked on a Feelgood-free set for December 14th, and even though I say so myself we sounded good, especially considering that we were almost exclusively working on material new to the band. All in all a good day's work which hopefully bodes well for next month's show. And talking of rehearsing I have just - just! - returned from a session with T.V. Smith; our upcoming show at The 12 Bar Club promises to be a classic evening - but more about that next time...